McGowan off as Comrades lose out in 10-goal thriller

Ballyclare's Simon McGowan saw red against Loughgall. Photo: Tim Duff.
Ballyclare's Simon McGowan saw red against Loughgall. Photo: Tim Duff.

Ballyclare Comrades were on the wrong end of a double six in Loughgall, where the 6-4 Championship 1 defeat extended their losing run to six games on the bounce.

After leading 3-1 at Lakeview Park the defence collapsed, allowing Brian Adair’s side to flash five more past Paddy Flood, before Kyle Agnew had the final say in injury time.

Boss Eddie Hill made wholesale changes, some enforced, in his starting line-up, with Chris Buckley and Denver Gage replacing Joel Cooper and Evan Forsythe in defence.

In midfield, in came Kyle Agnew, Simon McGowan and Adam McCart at the expense of George Young, Daniel Smith and Gerard McAlea; while Adam Gray was the preferred partner for striker Chris Trussell, with Johnny McClurg relegated to the bench.

Ace marksman Trussell opened the scoring in the 11th minute, and after Bradley equalised three minutes later, Trussell took his tally to 23 for the season, when he regained the lead after running on to a neat pass from McGowan.

Both defences were insecure and two more goals followed before the break. In the 40th minute an Andy Simms cross fell to McGowan who blasted the ball in to the roof of the net to establish a two-goal lead, but almost immediately Loughgall were back in contention when Moffett scored direct from a wind-assisted corner.

So, having had the lion’s share of possession Comrades turned round only one up, and worse was to follow when James Costello levelled in the 58th minute.

Moments later McGowan received a yellow card for dissent before talking his way into another yellow and then a red, leaving the Reds with only 10 men for the final half hour.

The Armagh lads made full use of their numerical advantage. Costello fired his side into the lead for the first time; Cully headed past Flood from a corner, and Carson made it the half-dozen.

In injury-time Agnew hit his 10th goal of the season in this ten-goal thriller.

Manager Eddie Hill said: “Our defence was very porous and Loughgall didn’t have to work for their goals.”

Ballyclare Comrades: Flood (C); Doherty, Getty, Gage, Buckley; Agnew, McGowan, McCart, Simms; Gray, Trussell. Subs: McClurg for Simms 69, Smith for Doherty 75, Cooper for Buckley 75; not used Wilkinson and Young.